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Pearl Ex Pigment Powder and Encaustic

Pearl Ex dry pigment powder and encaustic
Disclosure: Jacquard sent me a free sample of Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments to review for this post.

I have shied away from using dry pigment powders since Gregory Wright’s patterned effects demonstration at the International Encaustic conference. Gregory cautioned that some dry pigments may be poisonous and that repeated exposure can have serious effects on the artist’s health.

What is Pearl Ex Mica Powder?

Then, I noticed online that Linda Robertson was using Pearl Ex Powdered Pigment with Encaustic.  Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments are very fine powdered mica pigments made by Jacquard Products. From the Jacquard website, “Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments are safe, non-toxic, inert pigment that may be used any time a metallic or pearlescent effect is desired.”

4 ways to use dry Pearl Ex Pigment in encaustic — plus safety precautions Click To Tweet

Safety Precautions when using dry pigment

Even though Pearl Ex is listed as safe and non-toxic, it is still wise to handle them with care. The number one rule of working with dry pigment is to avoid raising the pigment dust unnecessarily.

Precautions for safe handling of Pearl Ex Pigment Powder:

Safety Data Sheets for Pearl Ex are available from Jacquard’s site. From here I found the following precautions.

  • Prevent formation of dust
  • Inhalation of the dusts should be avoided as even inert dusts may impair respiratory organ functions
  • Respiratory protection is required when dusts are generated. Recommended Filter type: Filter P 1
  • Do not eat, drink, smoke or sniff while working.
  • Wash hands before breaks and at the end of work.
  • Body protection: Protective work clothing

I noted that Linda Robertson uses particle masks and gloves for her dry pigment encaustic workshop.

4 Ways to use dry pigment with Encaustic

  1. add Pearl Ex to clear encaustic medium as a colouring agent
  2. combine Pearl Ex with shellac for a shellac burn technique
  3. use a small brush or sponge to apply Pearl Ex to your encaustic painting, gently fuse
  4. apply Pearl Ex with a soft applicator through a stencil to the warm wax, gently fuse

How have you used dry pigment in Encaustic art?

Please share your thoughts about using Pearl Ex dry pigment mica powders in your art.

About Ruth Maude

Encaustic art is my hobby. I'm a Toronto WordPress web designer and developer. I started All Things Encaustic to document what I learn and to explore encaustic art.

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3 thoughts on “Pearl Ex Pigment Powder and Encaustic

  1. On one of my first projects I embedded a leaf and thought it would be interesting to use a little gold pearl ex on top. I learned that once it is on, it is not coming off…and a little goes a long way. It’s good to know that we need to be extra cautious when using powder. Thanks for this information.

    1. You’re welcome, Mary Jo. Thanks for adding a comment

  2. I use those powders to highlight the texture of my paintings. They go on last and really pop the final product. I felt kind of snobby about them at first, thinking they were “crafty”. Don’t judge a product by its’ cover. Ha. I love them now.

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